저작권자 © Korea IT Times 무단전재 및 재배포 금지
Korea Electric Power Research Institute (KEPRI) (http://www. kepri.re.kr), an affiliate of the Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO), was established in 1961, and in 1993 moved to its current location in Daedeok R&D Zone in the science valley. It is one of the leading members of the Daedeok Science Town Association. On the occasion of the launch of Daedeok R&D Zone, Lyu Tae-Hwan, president of KEPRI, was interviewed about KEPRI's current situation, research performance and cooperation with neighboring institutions.
KEPRI had a total staff of 572 as of the end of 2004, including 467 researchers. As Korea's major institution dedicated to developing electric power technology, it aims to become a world-class research center through constant innovation and technological development. To this end, KEPRI is striving to build up its internal resources and competence through managerial innovations, review overall operations, and enhance the applicability of its guidance on relevant technologies based on mid and long-term R&D plans. It also plays a central role in matters concerning cooperation in the electric power industry, including the operation of joint mid and long-term R&D plans and the establishment of an R&D roadmap on electricity technology based on the Electric Power R&D Agreement.
In 1995, its name of KEPCO's Technology Research Center was changed to KEPRI with the goal to be reborn as the nation's leading electric power research institute equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. Now KEPRI is comprised of six research laboratories: Power Generation Lab, Power System Lab, Nuclear Power Lab, and Environment & Structural Engineering Lab, Power Distribution Lab, Strategic Technology Lab. In addition to these, there are two offices - Administration Office and Technology Policy & Planning Office.
KEPRI's Role and Strategy for Research in Power Information Technology
'National Strategic Research for Power Information Technology' is the important project for combining the traditional electric power technology with the new industrial IT which has international competitive edge.
The project opens a way of developing new technologies for all power industrial companies preparing for the future digital society.
Also the project will be the crucial element for the future national competitiveness in power industry. The project is composed of 6 important research fields and the total funding for the project will be $ 270,000,000 for 5 years. Government will invest into the project with the half of the fund, and power industries will take charge of the remainder.
KEPCO will invest $28,000,000 involving four research fields with nine categorical studies. The research fields to be invested will be Ubiquitous Computing Network based on Power Line Communication, Intelligent Distribution Automation System, Infrastructure Technology for Substation and Integrated Resource Management for Value Added Service. KEPRI will propose the 9 studies to government in August 2005. KEPRI will have the leading role not only in key studies but also in the testing using many field testing facilities.
The technical capacity of KEPRI including many power industries will be increased through the successful performance of the project.
The results of studies will be used for all power industries in KOREA and will contribute to international competitiveness in power industry, which is the main driving force for achieving GDP $20,000. Speeding up Closer Cooperation with Related Institutions As a leading member of Daedeok Science Town Association and Daedeok Science Forum, KEPRI is stepping up mutual cooperation and information exchanges. Currently, it maintains close relationships and conducts collaboration in cooperation with the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI), and the Nuclear Environment Technology Institute (NETI).
KEPRI focuses on its application research, while NETI directs its attention more to on-the-spot technical support, and KAERI is currently giving priority to basic research on atomic energy. Also, KEPRI is pushing ahead with joint studies with both the Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) and KAIST.
Furthermore, it plans to speed up human resource exchanges with KAIST, Chungnam National University(CNU), and Information and Communication University(ICU).
As for KEPRI's key research field as well as performance results, KEPRI is playing a pivotal role in developing electric power technology through accumulated technology and know-how in the fields of production, transportation and distribution of electric power. It has the vision of being a world class research institute opening new horizons in electric power technology. Also, it conducts research on linking comprehensive technologies related to the electric power industry, and provides technical support to settle the current issues emerging in the field.
Power generation laboratories playing a leading role in new power generation technology provides the technology to optimize maintenance and operation of power plant utilities, and has lots of technologies for power plant control, performance evaluation and management, fuel characteristic testing, reliability evaluation and so on.
The power generation laboratory has been awarded Korea laboratory accreditation scheme in non-destructive inspection, has been nominated for national research lab in life assessment service, and has acquired ISO certificates for performance diagnostic tests.
KEPRI president Lyu Tae-hwan is proud of the fact that the nuclear power generation divisions are technical leaders for improving operation of nuclear power plants. They have the automatic inspection technique for utilization optimization, real time simulation for reactor monitoring and protection systems, and world-class safety analysis technology.
'We are positioned as the Mecca of the Korean nuclear power plant operation technologies by taking charge of technical support in radiation protection and dose reduction technologies and important licensing issues', he said.
KEPRI has the highest technology in the field of the electric power system which is neural networks from power plants to customers. It has many power industrial technologies such as high-voltage power transmission and FACTS for the fast incremented power demands and locally concentrated demands, real time analysis for power system and information technology related on power and data. Also KEPRI provides the technical support for commissioning tests of newly constructed substations and power plants and for maintenance of existing facilities.
Power distribution Lab possesses the highest technologies in power distribution areas such as reliability improvement, reliability assessment, optimization of power distribution facilities, the demand side management technology to consume electricity rationally and the distribution intelligent technology integrated with IT.
The Kochang Power Testing Center, located in Kochang-Gun, Jeon-Buk province, is a unique application test center for newly developed distribution equipment and novel technologies.
The environmental and structural engineering field leading environment conservation and structural safety has a specialty in conservation and evaluation of air, water, and ocean quality, production and utilization of environmentally friendly energy, and life management, seismic safety, and performance improvement of electricity structure. The utilization of domestic nitrogen oxide removal catalyst at thermal power plants has contributed to the environment conservation.
In the strategic technology area KEPRI is making efforts to develop clean energy sources through research on practical photovoltaic power generation, moltencarbonate fuel cells, and solid-oxide fuel cells for residential use. Active and productive research is also on-going on power-line communication, advanced electro materials, and application of superconductivity to electric power technology.
The management research center is in charge of the support of the CEO's decision making based on research such as Restructuring of Electric Industry, Electricity Market Analysis Model and Energy-Environment Issues. Research on the Restructuring of Electric Industry is to suggest the direction toward the reshaping of electric industry because the responsibility of KEPCO as the leading company of restructuring has been increased. The preparation of the integrated policy development of economics and environmental aspects is an essential task for the sustainable development of a company, because the future strictly requires that companies should invest in a socially responsible manner without giving up the opportunity to achieve their higher profit.